By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter
The Government of Belize, this week, responded to a request for aid from the Government of Dominica by sending funds to help with their disaster relief efforts in the wake of Tropical Storm Erika.
GOB, responding to the letter sent on August 31 by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, deposited $250,000 in an account provided by the Dominican government in the damage assessment report. GOB also conferred its assurances of support to the government of Dominica and its people.
Belize is among several nations which stepped in to assist Dominica after the tropical storm dropped 15 inches of rain, causing mass flooding and landslides in several areas. Twenty-four persons were killed in the disaster, which also caused some EC$1 billion (US$370 million) in damage.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through its Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), initially provided US $50,000 to the relief efforts, but yesterday approved another US$100,000 in light of the situation.
Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Youth Ambassadors (CYA)s have also launched a fund raising drive entitled “I AM CARICOM” to assist with disaster relief.
“This drive has been named ‘I am CARICOM’ as we declare as one single Caribbean Community to be each other’s keeper”, the CYA said in a release. “The role of this community is to help our sister island restore her brokenness and to give her a sense of hope in such trying times”, it added.
While the Dominica’s post disaster work continues, the government has placed its citizens on high alert, with the possibility of more flooding by Tropical Depression Grace. Acting National Disaster Coordinator at the Office of Disaster Management Don Corriette, in a press briefing on Wednesday, said that officials are on standby to evacuate residents of low-lying areas in the event the situation worsens.